Hope AGAINST hope
The all-time, top five best Bruce Springsteen songs according to Mojo magazine this month are, in reverse order:
Number five - 'The Promise' from the album The Promise (2010).
Number four - 'Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)' from The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle (1973).
Number three - 'The River' from The River (1980).
Number two - 'Born To Run' from Born To Run (1975)
Number one…have you guessed?
Greatest Bruce Springsteen song ever…
‘Racing In The Street’.
From Darkness On The Edge Of Town (1978).
But where’s 'Thunder Road'? Number six! Below 'The Promise' ? That song even references 'Thunder Road’.
I need to give that 'Racing In The Street' another listen.
So it’s the story of a hot shot drag racer, his ’69 Chevy with a 396, fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor. And the girl he met three years ago in a Camaro with this dude from LA.
I blew that Camaro off my back / And drove that little girl away.
But this isn’t a tale of glory days and suicide machines, a town full of losers and pulling out of here to win. From the sombre piano intro, same first chord as ‘Thunder Road’, you know things didn’t work out.
That’s despite the clinging onto hope. Calling out around the world, the defiance.
Now some guys, they just give up living / And start dying little by little, piece by piece
Some guys come home from work and wash up / then go racing in the street
But now there’s wrinkles around his baby’s eyes and all her pretty dreams are torn, like that swaying dress.
She stares off alone in the night / With the eyes of one who hates for just being born.
So the racer boy makes a promise.
Tonight my baby and me we're gonna ride to the sea
And wash these sins off our hands
For me, it's about getting older without giving up. But that's just me.
Tonight tonight the highways's bright / Out of our way, mister, you best keep
'Cause summer's here and the time is right / We're going racing in the street
And then the endless coda. Piano and organ interwoven, rim shots at a steady 55. All stretched on out down the road by the rest of the band, particularly live.
As Mojo says, it’s hope against hope. Maybe they’re right.
Maybe it is the best.
See you next July, Bruce.